Disruption Contingency Plan
Hovertravel has an ongoing agreement with the other cross-Solent operators to offer a replacement travel option in the event of cancellations, due to adverse weather or technical issues, on any services.
In the event of a disruption
Hovertravel customers will be offered a replacement travel service and their Hovertravel ticket can be used to travel on Wightlink or Red Funnel, in the unlikely event that our services are disrupted.
If our services are cancelled the service status on our website, on the service status hotline (01983 717717) and our WhatsApp channel will inform customers which Wightlink or Red Funnel service to use.
Hovertravel customers will only be accepted on the Wightlink named service and only when Hovertravel staff are onsite at that service to scan your ticket. Please note that Hovertravel staff will only be in attendance during Hovertravel’s timetabled hours. Travel outside those hours will not be permitted.
On the Isle of Wight, customers can make their own way to Ryde Pier Head. For Hovercare customers requiring assistance our staff will arrange travel between the Hovertravel Ryde Terminal and Ryde Pier Head. Travel on the Island Line between Ryde Esplanade & Ryde Pier Head is not provided in the event of disruption to Hovercraft services. If passengers wish to use the train service they must ensure they are in possession of a valid rail ticket.
If for any reason Wightlink Fast Cat and car ferry services are not operating, Hovertravel customers will be accepted on the Red Funnel car ferry or Red Jet named service, a valid Hovertravel ticket must be shown to Red Funnel staff on arrival at the terminal. Please note passengers are expected to make their own travel arrangements to and from Red Funnel terminals.
This ticket acceptance is a crucial element of our weather contingency plan, which gives customers confidence that they will be kept up-to-date with the latest service information and be offered alternative transport to travel.
Our pilots team will be reviewing the weather forecasts* in advance and Hovertravel will issue a service status message at 1400 the day before any cancellations due to adverse weather are anticipated.
Customers will then be better informed to make their travel plans; including preparing to make their way directly to Wightlink Fast Cat or car ferry, Red Funnel car ferry or Red Jet or deciding to work from home. We would always advise regular checking of our service status before starting your journey.
Hovertravel’s service status is always displayed on the top of every page on our website, on our WhatsApp channel and can be heard by calling our Service Status hotline (01983 717717).
When cancelled due to weather and when the Wightlink Fast Cat is not operating, the Hoverbus in Portsmouth will include an additional stop at the Wightlink Gunwharf Quays terminal, allowing for onwards connections across the city.
Hovertravel staff will be on duty at the Wightlink FastCat terminals in Ryde and Portsmouth to welcome passengers, scan your tickets and get you on board as quickly as possible. Staff will only be in attendance during Hovertravel’s normal operating hours. Customers can not travel on the FastCat without being scanned by Hovertravel staff.
Wightlink Car Ferry:
If the FastCat is not operating Hovertravel staff will be on duty at the Wightlink terminals at Fishbourne and Gunwharf Quays to welcome passengers, scan your tickets and get you on board as quickly as possible. Staff will only be in attendance during Hovertravel’s normal operating hours. Customers can not travel on the car ferry without being scanned by Hovertravel staff.
Red Funnel Car Ferry and Red Jet:
Hovertravel staff will not be present at Red Funnel terminals, valid Hovertravel tickets should be shown to a member of Red Funnel staff.
- The current ticket acceptance arrangement means Hovertravel customers can use their tickets to travel on Wightlink or Red Funnel at no extra cost when our services are cancelled.
- Customers must only use the alternative service as directed by Hovertravel’s staff or service status. Customers cannot make their own choice of which service to use.
- Customers travelling on Wightlink services must have their ticket scanned by Hovertravel staff at the nominated alternative travel service.
- Customers must travel within Hovertravel’s normal operational hours.
- Children under 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult (16 years and over) as per Wightlink’s and Red Funnel's T&Cs.
- If you are a HoverCare customer please check which service is nominated however if you need assistance let us know in advance and we’ll aim to help.
- No bikes can be carried on the buses.
*Hovertravel’s pilots team uses several weather forecasts, alongside tide height and wind direction measurements to make its weather cancellation decisions consistent with the current Maritime & Coastguard Agency regulations. However, the science which underlies meteorological forecasts and climate projections is constantly evolving and weather forecasts can change quickly. Therefore, customers should continue to check our service status, even after an advance warning of adverse weather cancellations has been issued.